Arrested Perceptions of Restoration Drama

Generally speaking, when people hear mention of Restoration drama, they think of bawdy, witty social comedies.  As it so happens, comedy as a genre did not become popular (again) until the late 1660’s, the first decade of the period consisting largely of revivals and new works by lesser playwrights in the vein of these revivals. … Continue reading

The Second Part of “Loves Adventures”

Portrait of a Girl as Erminia Accompanied by Cupid, Van Dyck 1638

SONG O Love, some says thou art a Boy! But now turn’d Girl, thy Masters joy. Now cease all thy fierce alarms, In circles of your loving arms. Who can express the joys to night, ‘Twil charm your senses with delight. Nay, all those pleasures you’l controul, With joyning your each soul to soul. Thus … Continue reading

“Loves Adventures” by Mad Madge

“There is an old saying, that opinion travels without a Passe-port…” -Mrs. Reformer, Loves Adventures (1662) The deeper I read into 17th century British theatre history, particularly the Restoration, the more fascinated I am by the literary (and other) figures who populated these eras and, of course, also by the works that have survived them. … Continue reading

What does contemporary metadrama tell us about contemporary theatre?

In a post few weeks back, readers helped me compile a list of contemporary plays that can be considered metadramatic or metatheatrical.  I’d like to pick this topic up again and ask you to think about this post’s title question. What does contemporary metadrama tell us about contemporary theatre? Now, I recognize that it’s sometimes … Continue reading

Before Gaga, There Was Aphra: “Or,” Liz Duffy Adams’ Bisexual Bombshell.

Before Gaga, There Was Aphra: Or, Liz Duffy Adams’ Bisexual Bombshell (Review)  For more than a century, scholars, activists, and playwrights have found personal,  political, and literary inspiration in writings by and about Oscar Wilde, catapulting the 19th century Anglo-Irish author to mythic status as an icon for the contemporary gay movement.  The 17th century authoress Aphra Behn is now experiencing something akin … Continue reading

Aphra Behn’s The Dutch Lover: A Comedy

Aphra Behn’s The Dutch Lover: A Comedy 3 down, 15 to go. As Liz Duffy’s Or, now playing at Women’s Project in NYC, continues to endear itself to audiences, I continue to plug through the 18 plays written by Duffy’s central heroine–Restoration playwright Aphra Behn. Premiere and Publication The Dutch Lover, Behn’s third play, was … Continue reading

Aphra Behn’s The Amorous Prince, Or, The Curious Husband. A Comedy.

The Amorous Prince, Or, The Curious Husband. A Comedy. By Aphra Behn. 2 down. 16 to go. Join me in reading the 18 plays of Aphra Behn (1640-1689). If you don’t know who she is, click here for a biographical overview. Click here for information on the Aphra Behn Society. Aphra in Duffy’s Or More than … Continue reading

The Forc’d Marriage, Or The Jealous Bridegroom

The Forc’d Marriage, Or The Jealous Bridegroom. A Tragi-Comedy by Aphra Behn. This, Behn’s first play, is believed to have premiered on Tuesday, September 20, 1671, though it was not entered in the Term Catalogues until February 1671.  While it is an original work, scholars have found echoes of earlier works in it, including Shakepeare’s Othello (1604), Beaumont … Continue reading

Aphra Who?

Aphra Who? You know her, the old school (proto)feminist writer all the new school feminist writers are cutting their proverbial teeth on these days. Thanks to efforts made by scholars and historians over the past few decades, Aphra Behn enjoys a vibrant afterlife these days–a lively one, indeed, for a female playwright from the 17th … Continue reading

Gender Equality Today: Dramatically Improved or Just Dramatic?

Gender Equality Today: Dramatically Improved or Just Dramatic? “The Battle of the Sexes” is as vexed a subject today as it was in the early modern period, when women were expected to be chaste, obedient, and silent and were subjected to the common law “rule of thumb.” When in 1660, the Restoration ruler Charles II … Continue reading

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